About

About

 

MY PHOTOGRAPHIC EQUIPMENT

  • CANNON EOS 1D MK 4
  • SIGMA 150-600mm (sport version)
  • Cannon 16-35mm F4 Lens
  • BEANBAG
  • MONOPOD
  • MANFROTTO TRIPOD WITH NORMAL & GIMBAL HEAD

ABOUT ME / SURROUNDS AND MY PHOTOGRAPHIC PHILOSOPHY

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I am privileged enough to live with my lovely wife on the banks of the Sundays River in the Eastern Cape (South Africa) situated about 4km’s from the southern gate entrance to the Addo Elephant National Park. Being in such close proximity to these two natural areas, both bursting with abundant biodiversity certainly does make up for time lost due to work constraints.

 The Sundays River and Estuary is a bird mecca with a mind-blowing amount of birds and estuarine wildlife. This river and its estuary are well protected and it appears that its pristine condition will continue to remain so.
 
The Addo Elephant National Park is a wonderful and well run SANParks National Park with abundant elephants and other wildlife including but not limited to cheetahs, lion, buffalo and rhino. Avian abundance is really something to go and see there, it is awesome ranging from a variation of large Raptors, secretary birds, falcons, bustards through to the chats, robins, larks to mention but only a few right down to the smallest of the small. A SANParksWild Card” is well worth investing in. In my opinion one of the Premier Parks of South Africa run and managed by well trained rangers and staff who are always helpful and knowledgeable in their respective rights and fields – ALWAYS a pleasure and privileged to visit this special Park:- hats off to SANparks for their input and sustained management of the Park and surrounding lesser known areas of the Park. A visitor is surrounded by friendly and helpful staff at this Park. Put simply, at this Park the staff and management go the extra mile not only as to the conservation of the Park’s biodiversity but also as to its visitors. As to TOURS into the Addo Elephant National Park and surrounds there is no better than Alan Tours. They are highly recommended and respected as honest Tour Operators with integrity. Alan, the tour guide is a highly regarded professional guide with a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of fauna, flora and rich historical background to the Park. It is a serious asset to have him as a tour guide in their immaculately clean and comfortable vehicles . Having somebody such as Alan  as your Guide that can answer all your questions with knowledge and truth is serious bonus and makes your tour a highly memorable experience. He has a great ‘bush” eye and will show you many things the untrained eye will miss. They come very highly recommended and I can personally stand testimony to them;  try them and you will not be disappointed. All their contact details are on their site (see link above)
 
I have also been privileged to visit and photograph the birds on Bird Island which is simply a profound assault on all ones senses in every respect – it is an absolutely awesome gem and once again a real hats off to  SANparks for their conservation efforts on that special island. It is a world class island of well managed biodiversity. Without the input from SANParks I have very serious doubts as to whether this special place will be there for future generations (as it should be). This islands demands the input, protection and management of SANparks.
 
We also live very close (about 5 km’s) from the Cerebos Salt Pans where I am privileged enough to gain controlled access to photograph the rich birdlife that exists there. It is truly a special area under strict control and is a world-class natural area of abundant biodiversity – hence being allocated a separate tab on this site. Cerebos Management certainly go way beyond the extra mile to ensure the protection of these areas. This in turn promotes and cultivates areas where all wild life flourishes in a quasi reserve like environment. These very environments (and there are quite a few around the country) created and controlled by Cerebos, in my humble opinion, go a very long way to sustaining pockets of natural biodiversity. These do, and will stand our current and future wildlife ethos and stock in good standing. We certainly hope that Cerebos will not only continue to nurture these fantastic natural environments but will implement programs to even further enhance them for sustained environmental growth.
 
As for me, I have in previous years (about 20 years ago) dabbled in black and white medium format photography spending many hours in the darkroom. But since “reviving” my photography in digital format about 2 years ago, focusing primarily on nature & avian photography, I have had to go through a very (tough) new (everything has changed) learning curve.
 
  • I believe that photography should first and foremost be FUN. When I bang my head (very often) about not getting images “right and the way I want them” I often have to firmly remind myself that this should and must be fun.

  • The second slice of my aspiring photographic pie is one of TECHNIQUE which only comes from time spent pressing the shutter, experimenting, reading, talking to others and looking at what world class photographers are producing, hence setting higher and higher personal standards all the time.

  • The next slice of the pie is IMAGE CONTENT and here there is simply no substitute for time spent out there, being still, staying low, looking behind you, understanding your subject matter. Making sure that when the magic opportunity, that once in a lifetime opportunity arises in a split second, one is ready to capture the image in a competent and hopefully awesome manner. In this regard I believe that intimacy with the subject is really vital. It is this very intimacy when captured, compellingly draws the viewer into the image in synergy with the subject. Spending time researching the habits of the subject is not a waste of time, as I have found that the more I know about my subject the better the images become

  • Always RESPECTING NATURE, being quiet and just sometimes soaking up the immense majesty of our Heavenly Fathers created nature in every respect. Respecting and understanding our REAL position as humans on the planet. . Finally, photography keeps me humble. A simple search on the Internet and looking at what is out there, most definitely keeps my photographically aspirations humble in quite a dramatic manner. Being in nature keeps us all humble and reminds us of His wonderful creation.

As an aspiring CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHER it is my sincere wish and desire to try and promote sustainable conservation though my images.
 
Thank you for reading this and for taking the time to view this site.
 
John
 
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